Summary Report & Media Highlights
Sept. 25, 2017
Board of Trustees Regular Agenda:
Board Agenda
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Opening Remarks

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri told Trustees about a teacher at a Title I school in Mount Airy, N.C. – Andy Griffith’s hometown and the inspiration for Mayberry – whose students want to raise money to help not only the Houston area but Spring Branch in particular. Dr. Muri noted how people not only across the country but around the world are reaching out to help areas affected by recent natural disasters.

Sights and Sounds Around Spring Branch

Trustees watched a video describing how operations personnel both prepared district facilities for the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, then readied those facilities for the re-opening – or “reboot” – of school.


Recognition of #IAMSBISD

Associate Superintendent for Talent and Operations Jennifer Blaine presented the #IAMSBISD award to a group of directors who stepped up into senior leadership roles during Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent recovery. Director of Facilities David Vesling, Director of Planning Travis Stanford, Director of Transportation Sherry Lawson, Executive Director of Athletics Paige Hershey, Controller David Bender, Executive Director of Talent Karen Heeth, Director of Child Nutrition Services Chris Kamradt and Director of Applications Mark Maxwell were recognized for #CollectiveGreatness for their extraordinary leadership before, during and after the storm, when several senior staff members were displaced by floodwaters. The #IAMSBISD award is presented to individuals who exemplify one or more of SBISD’s core values: #CollaborativeSpirit, #CollectiveGreatness, #EveryChild, #LimitlessCuriousity and #MoralCompass.

Recognized for their exceptional leadership during Hurricane Harvey were David Bender (third from left), Karen Heeth, Paige Hershey, David Vesling, Travis Stanford, Sherry Lawson and Chris Kamradt. Flanking the recipients are Jennifer Blaine and Board President Karen Peck (left) and Dr. Muri (right).

Recognition of SBISD Finance Department Awards

Trustees recognized the SBISD Finance Department for multiple awards earned over the past year. For the eighth consecutive year, the Finance Division has earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, presented by the Government Finance Officers Association and represents a commitment to the highest principles of governmental budgeting. The Finance Division once again earned the Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), the highest award given by the Government Finance Officers Association for governmental accounting and financial reporting. For the fifth consecutive year, the purchasing department has received the Award of Merit for Purchasing from the Texas Association of School Business Officials. And for the second year, Child Nutrition Services and Director Chris Kamradt have earned the Standards of Excellence Award from the Texas Association for School Nutrition, recognizing SBISD as one of the best CNS programs in Texas.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with the Finance Division: Karen Wilson, Chris Kamradt, David Bender, Barbara Robillard, Tera Harris, Christine Porter and Lawanda Coffee. At right is Dr. Muri.

Presentation of Spring Branch Education Foundation Gifts to District

Spring Branch Education Foundation Executive Director Cece Thompson and Chair Lisa Schwartz presented a symbolic check for $1,026,622 to Trustees, representing funds raised for SBISD over the past year. This is the third consecutive year that the gifts have totaled more than $1 million. SBEF raises money to enhance the educational experience of #EveryChild in SBISD.

Board President Karen Peck (left) with Spring Branch Education Foundation Executive Director Cece Thompson, SBEF Chair Lisa Schwartz and Dr. Muri.

Public Hearing on Proposed 2017 Tax Rate

Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson presented the proposed 2017 tax rate of $1.3945. The $297 million general budget was approved on June 26, based on the presumptive tax rate. The tax rate of $1.3945 includes $1.09 for the general fund and $.3045 for the debt service fund and has remained unchanged since 2010. Wilson noted that the tax bills that district property owners receive this fall reflect property values as of Jan. 1, 2017 and do not reflect damage from Hurricane Harvey. SBISD has the third lowest tax burden in the area, she said, due in large part to granting the full 20 percent Homestead Exemption.  The presentation largely mirrored the public hearing at the Sept. 18 workshop.  There was no comment from the public during the hearing. The tax rate was approved as an action item later in the meeting. (see Approval of Resolution below)

Tax Rate Presentation

First Reading of Policy CDA (LOCAL)

Trustees heard on first reading Policy CDA (LOCAL), the required annual review of the policy that deals with revenues and investments. Changes have been proposed by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

Board Policy Website

Approval of Resolution Setting 2017 Tax Rate

Trustees unanimously approved a resolution setting the 2017 tax rate of $1.3945. (see Public Hearing item above) The state-required resolution notes that although the tax rate is the same as last year’s, the district will generate more revenue this year because of higher property values. SBISD adds a line to the resolution that calls the transparency resolution misleading because revenue increases are offset by higher recapture payments and can actually result in less revenue. SBISD will send an estimated $77 million to the state in recapture this year -- $25 million more than last year.

Tax Rate Resolution

Approval of Resolution to Suspend Portion of EIC (LOCAL) for the 2017-18 School Year Only

Trustees unanimously approved a resolution extending for high school seniors the deadline for declaring whether or not a senior wants class rank reported on transcripts. Deadline is normally Oct. 15 but students missed 10 days of school in August and September due to Hurricane Harvey. Associate Superintendent for School Performance Tyler Ream said the request came from high school counselors, who said they may not have enough time to make sure every student fully understands the options. The deadline was extended for this year only to Oct. 31.


Approval to Activate a District of Innovation Exemption for 90 Percent Attendance Rule

Trustees unanimously approved a District of Innovation exemption from requiring a student’s 90 percent attendance in a class to be able to pass that class. The exemption does not remove compulsory attendance requirements but gives administrators more flexibility in dealing with individual students. Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri said that many of SBISD’s DoI exemptions are time-based and that by eliminating time as a barrier for students, the district can focus on learning. Per board policy, a DoI exemption requires a two-thirds affirmative vote -- five of seven for the SBISD Board of Trustees.

Cover Page
Board Policy Website Archive
Draft Policy FEC (LOCAL)

Dedication of Tully Stadium Press Box to Lary Reap

Trustees unanimously approved dedicating the Tully Stadium press box to longtime SBISD educator Lary Reap, who passed away earlier this year. Associate Superintendent of Talent and Operations Jennifer Blaine said that Reap served more than 30 years in SBISD, including three as principal of Spring Oaks Middle School and ten as principal at Northbrook High School. He also worked in the Tully Stadium press box for 42 years, from 1974 to 2016. “Lary believed in doing what was right for kids,” Blaine said.

Dedication of SBEC Museum to Della Sivley Mousner

Trustees unanimously approved dedicating the Spring Branch Senior High School Museum to founding curator Della Sivley Mousner. The museum was relocated to the library of the former Spring Branch Senior High School during renovation and rebuilding of SBEC and that space will be dedicated to Mousner. Mousner, a 1953 graduate of SBSHS, was asked to do a scrapbook for the former high school, which closed in 1985. She soon had more artifacts than she could keep at her house, and the school district gave her space in the former SBSHS band room – which the museum soon outgrew. Mousner has curated the museum since its founding in the late 1980s.

Adoption of Policy: FEC (Local) – Attendance, Attendance for Credit

Trustees unanimously approved on third reading the policy that exempts SBISD from the so-called “90 percent rule” concerning student attendance. Please see “Approval to Activate a District of Innovation Exemption for 90 Percent Attendance Rule” above.

Consent Agenda

Trustees unanimously approved the consent agenda, a collection of agenda items considered routine. The consent agenda is considered as a whole unless a board member pulls an item for a separate vote. No items were pulled from this consent agenda.

Consent Agenda

Discussion: Aligning Student Achievement Goals to SBISD’s Measures of Success

Associate Superintendent of Research and Design Elliott Witney brought Trustees current on the district’s work on measures of student success. Witney presented the background of developing student measures, which rely less on the state’s STAAR accountability system and are geared toward the district’s overarching goal of T-2-4 – every SBISD student completing military or technical training, or a two- or four-year degree. Trustees urged quicker development of an online district dashboard that would reflect progress on those measures.


The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be a workshop on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, at 6 p.m. at the Wayne F. Schaper Leadership Center, 955 Campbell.

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